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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Newburg Day: Living history of Civil War

  • Heman Paul, carrying a rolled-up map, walked up to a group of Confederates and said, “There was a camp with tents, two by two, from near the front of the Houston House over toward the bluffs. Want to see it?”


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  • Heman Paul, carrying a rolled-up map, walked up to a group of Confederates and said, “There was a camp with tents, two by two, from near the front of the Houston House over toward the bluffs. Want to see it?”
    Sure, let’s take a look,” one of the Rebels said, and Paul unrolled the map showing the railroad right-of-way from Rolla to the Gasconade River.
    This exchange was part of the Civil War Living History held in conjunction with Newburg Day ON Saturday. The re-enactors took part in the Newburg Day Parade, then went across the Little Piney Creek to the Little Piney Community Park for a short ceremony, demonstrations, music and conversations.
    Such a conversation ensued with Paul and his map, which noted various encampments of Union soldiers. The largest was that of Col. John B. Wyman in Rolla, but the map also noted a small camp farther west.
    “This is where we are,” Paul said, pointing to that general area, and that led to talk about what the area would have looked like in December 1861, the date on the copy of the map Paul carried.
    There was not a Newburg at that time. Newburg wouldn’t spring up until more than 20 years after that date. There was not a railroad through there, either. The railroad stopped at Rolla when the war began, although the rail bed may have been in place down to the river.
    The Confederate re-enactors noted the 1861 encampment, called “Col. Boyd’s Company” on the map, would have been set up like a street with the commander’s tent at an end of the street, facing the two lines of tents.
    “One company,” said a re-enactor. “That would have been 100 men.”
    That would have been 100 Union soldiers camped there to protect the area from Rebels, like those portrayed by most of the re-enactors present.
    Those men, both the Union and Confederate soldiers, as well as the bushwhackers who were also present in the re-enactment, were real people, and the purpose of the living history demonstration was to drive home that point.
    “It is our hope in your experiences here today, you realize the Civil War was not merely a chapter in your history textbook. These were real people with real convictions, bleeding real blood, feeling real loss,” stressed Randal A. Burd Jr., an officer in the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civll War Association, in his address to open the ceremony at 11 a.m. following the parade.
    To honor those who fought on both sides of the Civil War, a salute was fired and taps, a bugle call rooted in the Civil War, was played.
    Also in the ceremony, Don Wilson, great-grandson of Bushwhacker Bill Wilson, presented a copy of the book, “Bushwhacker,” to Sen. Dan Brown.
    Page 2 of 2 - The rest of the afternoon was spent with demonstrations of encampments, firing cannons, questions and answers as Newburg Day visitors walked across the tracks to the park, describing of life in Missouri during the Civil War and describing the bushwhacking career of Bill Wilson.
    The Pilot Knob High Flyers performed old music and music that sounded old.
    In the main part of Newburg, the special day began at 10 a.m. with the annual parade, followed by music at the Gazebo in the Houston House Courtyard. Water Street was closed to traffic for the craft and vendors show.
    Plenty of gospel, bluegrass and country music was played, as well as other forms of music. There was an ice cream social and plenty of food to eat, too.

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